Jamestown won its fourth in a row behind another solid outing from their starting pitcher, this time from Mason Hope. Hope, 20, threw his longest outing of the year by going six strong innings and allowing just two runs (one earned). He picked up his first win of the season — only the second by a Jammer starter — and dropped his ERA down to 4.09.
He doesn’t throw overly hard, but good control kept him ahead of hitters most of the night. Nothing was hit real hard, either, besides a double from Bruce Maxwell.
He kept the ball inside, especially to righties, and also kept the ball low. It showed as he registered 10 outs on the groundball.
Not helped a whole lot in the first, as leadoff man Chris Bostick hit a leadoff single that probably should have been ruled an error. He then advanced to second on a passed ball from catcher Sharif Othman. But, Hope limited the damage to one run. Overall, a pretty good outing from the fifth round pick last year.
• The bullpen did another stellar job for the Jammers. Three scoreless innings from Frankie Reed and Nick Wittgren lowered the bullpen ERA to 2.19.
But, it was Wittgren nailing down his sixth save of the year to preserve the win. He’s been particularly impressive closing out games and now has a 0.77 ERA on the year. With two more strikeouts tonight, he’s now sat down 16 and is yet to walk a batter. The eight hits he’s allowed in 11.2 innings means opponents are hitting just .186 off him this year.
He throws the hardest of any Jammer, getting up around 95. It’s also evident that he’s working hard on a breaking ball. It can be a knee-buckler at times and a hanger at others. Interesting to keep an eye.
But, he’s arguably been the team’s MVP so far this year.
• Cameron Flynn was the big stick tonight. He went 3-for-4 with his three-run homerun with two outs in the fourth standing up as the gamewinner. It was the first three-run homerun by a Jammer since the season finale in 2010, a stretch of 99 games.
Flynn fell a triple short of the cycle and really crushed two balls to leftcenter, one that was almost robbed by Vermont’s centerfielder Brett Vertigan, but fell off his glove, in for a double. He struck out on his last at bat.
Word is still out on Flynn. He was hitting just .170 (8-for-47) coming into the game with one extra-base hit. His batting average jumped 46 points thanks to the three-hit day.
• Defensively, I have to mention Pedro Mendoza who did a marvelous job at third tonight. He had six assists on my count and showed both a solid arm and range.
It was his third straight start there after primarily playing second. Although he has virtually no power, he might stick at third for the time being if he keeps playing like that.
• First time I got to see Vermont, the wild card leaders (until tonight) out of the Stedler Division. Bruce Maxwell, a second round pick this year out of Birmingham Southern, went 2-for-3 with a walk and looked like he had unlimited power. He mashed a double in the sixth inning to center. Certainly looked liked he was better than the .186 hitter he showed up as.
• Also paid close attention to second baseman Chris Bostick, a second year player from nearby Rochester, N.Y. Bostick was third in the league in steals and showed his speed on the first play of the game with a slow chopper to short that Anthony Gomez had to hurry up on.
It got by Gomez and was generously ruled a hit, but it showed Bostick’s speed played a factor. He was also thrown out by a step on a potential infield single thanks to a nice play from Mendoza.
Bostick looked fine defensively as well. He has to be considered a decent prospect considering he's still only 19 years old and playing at a fairly high level here in the New York Penn League.